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The Virus Is Still With Us

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While the relaxing of restrictions gives some hope of a return to a type of 'normality' the situation in Leicester shows us that the virus is still very much in circulation and there is a need for common sense and vigilance in all we do.

There is some interesting information about the cases of infection in England which is worth bearing in mind when looking at comparison graphs about the number of newly-reported cases.

What is being reported at a national level includes both the Pillar 1 (hospital tests) and Pillar 2 test data (tests done by commercial laboratories and tests done at home).

What we have seen in recent days is that only the Pillar 1 data are routinely being distributed to local government. The effect of this is to underestimate the prevalence of local cases  by local authorities. 

This is one reason given by local politicians and health officials in Leicester for the delay in response to the rising number of cases.

A similar situation yet thankfully, not as severe, is that seen in Manchester. Recently, the number of cases known to regional politicians and health officials was 78 but when the Pillar 2 cases become known, this figure rose to 465. The full story is here in the Manchester Evening News.

In order for local government to have a clear idea of the prevalence of the disease and its trends so as to take swift, appropriate action, they must be able to compare like with like. They must also have the full testing results picture.

The same applies to us; if we see locally that the number of cases was, for example, 6 times more than we believed, we might act more cautiously.

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